Tilles Park in St. Louis, Missouri (October 1991)
The birthday girl is grinning in the left corner of the photo. Heidi was celebrating her 5th birthday on our first visit back to St. Louis after moving to Oklahoma. She and her good little buddies were eating hotdogs that her daddy had grilled and drinking lemonade from "carousel cups" with lids like circus tents. Her dear grandma and grandpa as well as great-grandma were attending. Even her 83 year old babysitter, Nana and teenage sitter Anne had come to celebrate. Then surprise! A truck arrived pulling a trailer....pony rides! Everything seemed absolutely perfect on this warm fall day...until Grandpa Z tripped when chasing a Nerf football ...and broke his arm.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma 2012
There were no other picnickers on this sweltering afternoon outside the Cherokee Nation Heritage Center. It was over 100 degrees and Don and I had just finished visiting the museum and village. The air was thick as we washed down our Triscuit and cheese lunch with lukewarm water. But who could complain? We had spent just 2 hours being reminded of the horrific journey made by thousands of Native Americans on the Trail of Tears. We were visiting the very place where numerous tribes ended their journey after the Indian Removal Act began in 1831. It was a sobering picnic.
No food for me.
So I didn't get to do the feasting, but I did have fun grabbing these props from my old dollhouse and setting up a picnic scene on a rock. I wish I could eat some of these goodies right now... a glazed ham with boiled potatoes, some sausage links and a pie. There was even a little water in the pitcher to wash it down. Why don't I ever have picnics like that?
Tretolite Company, St. Louis, Missouri
This was probably the 5th company picnic I attended with my husband, Don. I can tell this was pre-kids because we're acting like kids (with our ice-cream bars) instead of chasing the kids. There are other things that help me date this photo, like Don's gold chain and my mullet. Although, I swear I don't ever remember having that hair-do! What I remember most about the annual company picnics (besides the St. Louis humidity) was the very idea of hundreds of "workers" and their families all sharing picnic tables and feasting on endless amounts of food and beer. Chemical engineers and janitors...secretaries and truck drivers. I'm not sure why I found that so intriguing.
Mom's Picnic List
In honor of my mother on the first Mother's Day since she has passed, I dedicate a new list... Mom's Picnic List!
Mom loved picnics and she raised her kids to appreciate the simple pleasures of food, family and friends in the great out of doors.
I will spend a year reflecting on as many past picnics as I can remember. But, I'll also
appreciate the here and now by creating new picnic experiences. My goal is to share at least 60 picnic memories, since that's how many years Mom was a mom!
Let the picnics begin!